Invest in USA - Iowa

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Case Studies Iowa

  • LaCroix Group
  • Alpla



Iowa is capitalizing on its success in agriculture and its research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences to build a thriving biosciences industry in the state. From start-up companies to globally-respected industry leaders in research and development, Iowa’s bioscience enterprises are discovering the innovations that will spur future economic growth.

In the last decade, Iowa has made significant progress in growing the industry. This is evidenced by the fact that Iowa's drugs and pharmaceuticals industry was one of the fastest growing in the nation from 2012 to 2014 (Biotechnology Innovation Organization, 2016).

A critical mass of bioscience companies and research institutions in Iowa are pushing industry growth in the state. Today, roughly 1,250 entities are working to commercialize Iowa’s bioscience innovations.

Iowa is home to three public universities – the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa – that are world-renowned for their dynamic research capabilities in plant, animal and human biosciences. The universities leverage over $600 million in cumulative grants, contracts and cooperative research on an annual basis.

Exciting biosciences advancements are being made at university research facilities across the state including:

  • The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine is comprised of 11 buildings that total approximately 1.4 million gross square feet (921,000 net square feet) of usable space, which is devoted to research, education, and administrative and event activities. Researchers in the college's over 280 laboratories are served by state-of-the-art core research and research support facilities. The college's research enterprise has garnered over $203.6 million in external funding and is ranked 11th among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP) is a Food and Drug Administration-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. UIP provides contract pharmaceutical services including pre-formulation studies, formulation development (including lyophilization cycle development), clinical supply, manufacturing, small scale commercial manufacturing, analytical method development and validation, routine quality control analysis, stability studies, and active pharmaceutical ingredient and excipient release testing to clients from around the world.
  • Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine researchers develop vaccines to control and eradicate animal diseases, provides a state-of-the-art teaching hospital, delivers pre-eminent, comprehensive programs in swine, dairy, beef and small ruminant production animal medicine and animal welfare. The college also conducts veterinary services that aim to protect animal and human health by providing effective diagnostic testing to tens of thousands of clients each year. The college is a cornerstone of one of the world's largest concentrations of animal health professionals that includes the USDA's National Animal Disease Center, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories and the Center for Veterinary Biologics in Ames, Iowa.


Companies Already at Work in Iowa

IA BioscienceLogos

Bioscience Business Climate

Iowa’s pro-business government works to help bioscience businesses grow through a variety of programs that offer direct financial assistance, tax credit programs including a refundable, R&D tax credit program and bioscience job training funds.

  • In 2015, Iowa exported $268 million in pharmaceutical products to 55 countries. The top export markets were Germany ($49.5 million), Netherlands ($44.3 million), Mexico ($29.5 million), Canada ($26.6 million) and Japan ($18.3 million).
  • In 2012, Iowa's bioscience industry employed 23,729 across 1,250 individual business establishments. (Battelle, 2012)
  • Iowa had the fifth highest location quotient for veterinarians with 50 percent more than the national average. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
  • Iowa has the fifth highest concentration of food scientists in the country, 130 percent more than the national average. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
  • Iowa ranks 3rd in the country for the number of bachelor's degrees in science, engineering and technology conferred per 1,000 individuals 18-24 years old. (National Science Foundation, Science and Engineering Indicators 2013)


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